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run2win
Member



Joined: 2009/2/1
Posts: 164
USA

 Reformed from what?

Can someone clarify this for me? I need some solid answers--and please keep them as simple as possible.

I have had discussions with some believers who hold to Reformation theology. I know the history of the Reformation, generally, but my question is how it applies to basic Biblical theology today. Was this the reforming of the Catholic Church? How does this differ from Protestantism? Was the protestant movement more about the Anglican Church?

Anyway, I have noticed that a lot of Reformed theology followers and teachers quote heavily from the leaders of the Reformation (Luther and Calvin mostly), but also from Roman Catholics, most often Augustine.

This seems a little dangerous at times. Though they deny it, it almost appears that the writings of these men plus church tradition are weightier in the theology than they should be. Quotes from these men are woven into the fabric of teachings with almost equal weight with the Scriptures (this is how it appears to me, an outsider listening in; I'm not saying this is what they believe--just how it comes across).

Now, the emergent movement seems to exhibit a similar pattern. Has anyone heard of Phyllis Tickle? She and others in this movement claim that the emergence is the new reformation. This would be a reformation from Protestantism I guess. However, this movement looks back to the early Catholic church for its patterns--again, Why not the Bible? I guess monastic practices are a large part of this emergent movement, as well as the mystics and so forth--all stuff from before the Reformation. Yet there seems to be no great emphasis on the first century church as described in Scripture.

My point is, should the church even be "reformed"? Has it not existed since Pentecost? Isn't the idea of reformation sort of like patching the old garment or pouring new wine into old wineskins?

Shouldn't Christians just stick to the Bible, looking to the first century church and the Apostles for patterns? This has had me stumped for some time. Any helpful information would be greatly appreciated.

 2009/5/30 19:55Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4803


 Re: Reformed from what?

Hi run2win,

I have found a good teaching on this subject. Go to this page and look for a sermon by Jacob Prasch. The title of the sermon is: What the Reformers Forgot.

Prasch covers the church history of the reformation and the foundations on which Reformed theology is based. He talks about the error of the protestant reformation in that those who lead the reformation based their doctrine not on the bible but on the teachings of men like Augustine de Hippo. Prasch is a good teacher.


http://www.radiofreechurch.com/topics_display/52?page=2&sort=alpha


In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2009/5/30 21:03Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Run2win,

I appreciate your post very much and agree with your concerns over any kind of reformation. What we truly need today is a passion for the original message of the original apostles.

We need leader’s in the church with a prophetic voice to restore the original message given once for all at Pentecost. We must return to the original pattern, back to where it all began. I don’t believe God is going to be a part of any movement of men. He is moving upon men who will hear Him with the message of Pentecost. The church must return to that which it was in the beginning. This should be our heart and passion to the glory of God.

Blessings to you!

 2009/5/30 21:29Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2769
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Reformed from what?

Quote:
My point is, should the church even be "reformed"? Has it not existed since Pentecost? Isn't the idea of reformation sort of like patching the old garment or pouring new wine into old wineskins?



I just wanted to comment on this particular question that you asked, I will leave the other questions to those more intimate with reformed theology.

I believe the word 'reformation' is related to the word 'restore'. It refers to a restoration to pure doctrine, as you said, "looking to the first century church and the Apostles for patterns."

The word 'revival' is also related to the word 'restore' and it refers to a restoration in the Christian's life.

The church in our generation is in need of both reformation and revival. Reformation speaks of a return to the teachings of Scripture and revival speaks of a life brought into its right relationship with the Holy Spirit.

It seems that great movements in church history have occurred when these two things came together at the same time so that the church returned to pure doctrine and the lives of the Christians have known the power of the Holy Spirit. There cannot be true revival unless there is reformation and reformation is not complete without revival.

Just think what such a combination could do in our day!

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2009/5/30 21:30Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: Reformed from what?

I would say this article [url=http://www.scriptorium.org/articles/faqs/faq_0034.html]What was the Reformation?[/url] by Dr. Herbert Samworth answers most of your Reformation questions.


Quote:
Anyway, I have noticed that a lot of Reformed theology followers and teachers quote heavily from the leaders of the Reformation (Luther and Calvin mostly), but also from Roman Catholics, most often Augustine. This seems a little dangerous at times. Though they deny it, it almost appears that the writings of these men plus church tradition are weightier in the theology than they should be. Quotes from these men are woven into the fabric of teachings with almost equal weight with the Scriptures (this is how it appears to me, an outsider listening in; I'm not saying this is what they believe--just how it comes across).



I have also seen this at times, but this is also done by others who quote Wesley, Finney, etc… People on both sides often go over board with name dropping and over quoting.

Quote:
Shouldn't Christians just stick to the Bible...



One of the Reformations five slogans was Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone").

The others being:

• 1 Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
• 2 Sola fide ("by faith alone")
• 3 Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
• 4 Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")
• 5 Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")

The article I linked to really provides a lot of answers.


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TJ

 2009/5/30 21:31Profile
rbanks
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Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Brethren,

It is to be God moving upon men with the power of the Holy Spirit to bring His message to the people. Nothing can truly be accomplished for God without the Holy Spirit.

God has moved upon men by his Spirit but when other men try to make a movement out of what God did through those men is when you have dead doctrines of men void of the life of God. We must be delivered from the doctrines of men. Studying the doctrines of men is not what will bring you into the life of God. It will always be doctrine that comes out of life and not the other way. This is how many can be so full of the doctrines of men but not filled with the Holy Spirit. We are to study the word of God by the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:3-6 (KJV) 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

The Holy Spirit gives life to the written word and without Him God cannot use us to minister to others.

Blessings to you all!

 2009/5/30 22:07Profile
theopenlife
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 Re:

I happen to attend a United Reformed Church.

The original poster wrote, [b]"Was this the reforming of the [Roman] Catholic Church?"[/b]

Yes, and no. Reformation was, and continues to be, a restoration of the visible Church to the doctrines found in scripture. You and I experience this often. Practically speaking, if a local Church is not teaching something scriptural, and then corrects the error, that is reformata (restoration).

Christ alludes to this concept when He tells the churches in Rev. 2&3 to "return to their first love." It would not be a true return if the move did not include doctrinal correction for God's glory.

[b]"How does this differ from Protestantism? Was the protestant movement more about the Anglican Church?"[/b]

Protestantism is an umbrella term used broadly to describe those who reject the authority of the Pope, and oppose certain central dogmas of the RMC, such as baptismal regeneration and salvation by gracious acceptance of works.

[b]"I have noticed that a lot of Reformed theology followers and teachers quote heavily from the leaders of the Reformation (Luther and Calvin mostly), but also from Roman Catholics, most often Augustine."[/b]

Please be aware that Augustine predates the RMC by several hundred years, and cannot be called a Roman Catholic. One must understand that the Reformers were accused by the RMC of inventing their doctrines of justification by faith, etc., and so appealed to early Christian writers as a secondary source. In effect, the Reformers were saying, "we're not the first one to interpret the bible this way." Anytime we quote Tozer, Washer, or Ravenhill in agreement with our views, we are doing the same thing. Reformers, past and present do not elevate such men above scripture, but acknowledged their wisdom. The Apostle Paul said, "Mark those men who walk amongst you godly." We note outstanding teachers and refer to them as a secondary source when interpreting scripture. In fact, this very site is a testimony to this practice.

[b]"Does the visible Church need reformata (restoration)?"[/b] You bet it does. That restoration must always begin with a return to apostolic doctrine, which when overshadowed by the Spirit, will itself effect revival. Revival cannot produce right doctrine, but right doctrine is used by God to produce revival.

God bless your studies.

 2009/5/30 22:16Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Quote:
Studying the doctrines of men is not what will bring you into the life of God.



Amen.

I suggest the doctrines of grace. They are located on every page of the Bible.


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TJ

 2009/5/30 22:24Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4803


 Re:

Brother Michael wrote:

Quote:
Please be aware that Augustine predates the RMC by several hundred years, and cannot be called a Roman Catholic. One must understand that the Reformers were accused by the RMC of inventing their doctrines of justification by faith, etc., and so appealed to early Christian writers as a secondary source.



From what I understand, it is the way one divines the Scriptures. Augustine who was influenced by Origen and Ignatius of Antioch, was responsible for introducing or mixing greek philosophy with the way one approaches the interpretation of Scripture. The influences of Plato were mixed into Augustine's interpretations of Scripture.

The error is rooted in the fact that Augustine interpreted Scripture through the understanding of greek traditions without concern for the fact that the Scriptures are of the Jews. So those reformers who are like minded with Augustine fall into the same error. They fail to rightly divine the Scriptures according to the Jewish mind.

The reformers foundations were based on Patristic Christianity. The church at Pentecost is based on Apostolic Christianity.

For a greater understanding of this error I would suggest you listen to the sermon of Jacob Prasch. He covers this subject in much more detail.

In Christ
jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2009/5/30 22:52Profile
yoadam
Member



Joined: 2009/2/10
Posts: 97
OREGON

 Re:

Hi rookie.

I'm no Augustine scholar, but I just want to comment that your particular view of Saint Augustine of Hippo is highly debatable... Yes, Augustine was impressed with plato's philosophy before he was converted to Christ-- but that's just the thing, it was before he was converted to Christ. And knowing philosophy is not necessarily a bad a thing, as everybody has a philosophy, much in the same way everyone has a theology.

I would recommend other readers to not take rookie's view of Augustine as plain fact, but to research it for themselves.

Rookie, I must ask, have you ever read anything by Augustine? Lately I have been casually reading his "Confessions", which is his autobiography written to God in the form of a prayer! So far it has been so God-centered I am left wondering why it is that I read anything from modern Christian authors.

Think for a minute-- If you were Augustine and writing an autobiography, how would you start out? "I come from a poor family in North Africa, life was rugged growing up..." No. Read the first words of his Confessions:

Quote:
CHAPTER I
1. “Great art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is thy power, and infinite is thy wisdom.”66 Cf. Ps. 145:3 and Ps. 147:5. And man desires to praise thee, for he is a part of thy creation; he bears his mortality about with him and carries the evidence of his sin and the proof that thou dost resist the proud. Still he desires to praise thee, this man who is only a small part of thy creation. Thou hast prompted him, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee.



How's that for starting out an autobiography? What a great example of how to aim to live our lives to always point to God and not to ourselves. And how bold of him to say, "And man desires to praise thee". Can you imagine the impact potentially Augustine can have upon the reader? And now consider that many universities require their students to read Augustine. I wonder how many have been converted to Christ because of a forced reading of St. Augustine in a university class? We should thank God for raising up such a guy.

Now could we possibly elevate Augustine too high? Of course, just as we could do to any person, and let's not go there. But let's not throw the baby out with the bath water, either!

Reading Augustine is much like reading Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress-- they're choke full of scripture. Now I know why men like Tozer were always reading the classics, and why he had said he would not need to write his contemporary books on the Christian life if people would but read the classics.

:-)


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Adam

 2009/5/30 23:45Profile





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